Craigslist is a great resource to locate a great garage sale before you leave the house to find garage sale items. Browse for sales with event or for-sale listings in your community on craigslist.
Chances are you are probably already pretty familiar with a certain category and have a good idea if something is valuable when you see it. Buying things in that category would be a great place to start.
Gather Supplies Before you shop
Make sure you have adequate cash in small bills. Most sellers at yard and garage sales will not accept personal checks, and the items you’re interested in may sell while you’re gone if you have to make a trip to the ATM. Bring a hat and sunglasses to protect your face from the sun if it’s a warm day and you plan to go to multiple yard sales. Consider taking a tape measure with you if you are looking for furniture. Measure areas in your residence where you might want to place new furniture and record them in a small notebook that you can bring with you for reference while shopping. Keep hand sanitizer or cleansing wipes in your vehicle or purse, fanny pack, or pocket. You may accidentally touch dirty or unsanitary items at some yard sales and need to clean yourself off.
Read Yard Sale Signs Carefully
Make sure there is a date and time listed on the sign. People often leave up old yard and garage sale signs for days, or even weeks, after the sale is over. Look at the condition of the balloons if the seller has tied them to the yard sale sign.
Full balloons indicate an ongoing or recent sale, but droopy, wrinkly balloons can be a sign that the sale is no longer current and more than likely has sold everything and everybody has gone home.
Learn to Negotiate
If you’re like me, you hate to haggle. However, negotiation doesn’t have to be an unpleasant process. By utilizing a handful of simple tactics, you may be able to score a cheaper price.
Don’t show up to a garage sale looking unkempt and disheveled, but don’t wear your best clothes and shoes either. Many sellers will not budge on price if you look like you can afford more than what they’re asking. Leave the fancy jewelry at home and just keep it casual. Also, make a point to bring small bills so you won’t have to feel awkward presenting a $50 when you just haggled to get the price down to $5.
Form a Relationship
Find the seller and strike up a conversation. Ask him or her about the pieces you’re interested in, and where and when they were acquired. Forming a humanizing connection can make acquiring a deal easier.
Start a Collection, Instead of inquiring about items piece by piece, start a small collection and ask how much for all of them. Sellers love to move items in bulk, so you may end up getting a great deal by buying multiple items, rather than single pieces.
Be Willing to Walk Away
If the seller is asking $50 for an item, don’t offer $5. Being unrealistic will just sour the whole deal. Instead, offer a reasonable amount, such as $30, and negotiate from there. If the seller still won’t budge, start putting things back – this may cause him or her to reconsider. If not, walk away.
The Early Bird Gets the Worm
One of the best times to visit a garage sale is early in the morning, just as the sale starts. Big-ticket items such as TVs,
stereos, and furniture will likely be sold within the first couple of hours, so get there early if these are the items you’re looking for.
The Night Owl Cleans Up
Late risers don’t have to rule out finding great garage sale bargains. Showing up anywhere between 11am and 2pm means finding items reduced in price by 50% or more. Sellers are more likely to bargain as the day wears on, as it’s never pleasant to have to pack up and put a bunch of unsold items back into storage. Clothes, books, CDs, and various knickknacks sell best this time of day.
Hot Craigslist Items to Flip
- Automotive Equipment
- Household Items
- Baby Stuff and Equipment
- Clothes and Baby Clothes
- Bikes and Scooters
- Musical Instruments
- Antiques and Collectibles
- Lawn Equipment
- Furniture and Appliances